Multiple Intelligences

This theory of human intelligence was developed by psychologist Howard Gardner. It proposes there are at least seven ways that people have of perceiving and understanding the world. Gardner labels each of these ways a distinct "intelligence"--in other words, a set of skills allowing individuals to find and resolve genuine problems they face.

Traditionally speaking, a person's intelligence is contained in his or her general intellect - in other words, how each and every one of us comprehend, examine, and respond to outside stimuli, whether it be to solve a math problem correctly or to anticipate an opponent's next move in a game of tennis.

Howard Gardner originally identified seven autonomous faculties that can work individually or in concert with other faculties, which he labeled as "intelligences":

  • Musical Intelligence: The ability to recognize tonal patterns and sounds, as well as sensitivity to rhythms and beats.
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence: Each person possesses a certain control of his or her movements, balance, agility and grace. The wisdom of the body and the ability to control physical motion is bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
  • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence: This intelligence is our ability to mentally process logical problems and equations, the type most often found on multiple choice standardized tests. It is the capacity for inductive and deductive thinking and reasoning, as well as the use of numbers and the recognition of abstract patterns.
  • Linguistic Intelligence: The ability to use words and language. A person's ability to construct and comprehend language may vary, but as a cognitive trait it is still universal.
  • Spatial Intelligence: The capacity to visualize objects and spatial dimensions, and create internal images and pictures. The ability to tap our spatial intelligence is most commonly seen in how we comprehend shapes and images in three dimensions.
  • Interpersonal Intelligence: Interpersonal intelligence is seen in how we notice distinction among others; in particular, contrasts in their moods, temperaments motivations and intentions. It is the capacity of an individual for person-to-person communications and relationships
  • Intrapersonal Intelligence: Intrapersonal intelligence is the cognitive ability to understand and sense one's "self". It refers to the spiritual, inner states of being, self-reflection, and awareness.

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